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"Back for Good" is a song recorded by British band Take That for their third studio album, Nobody Else (1995). It was written and produced by the lead singer Gary Barlow, with an additional production done by Chris Porter. The song topped the UK Singles Chart, and also charted at number one in many countries around the world, including Australia, Canada, Denmark, Germany, Ireland, Norway and Spain. It also charted at number seven in the United States. At the 1996 Brit Awards it won the Brit Award for British Single of the Year.

"Back for Good"
Back for Good cover.png
Single by Take That
from the album Nobody Else
Released27 March 1995
Format
Recorded1994
GenrePop
Length4:02
Label
Songwriter(s)Gary Barlow
Producer(s)
  • Chris Porter
  • Gary Barlow
Take That singles chronology
"Sure"
(1994)
"Back for Good"
(1995)
"Never Forget"
(1995)
Alternative cover
American CD single artwork
American CD single artwork
Music video
"Back for Good" on YouTube

Contents

Background and later versionsEdit

Written by Gary Barlow, who also sang lead vocals and engineered by Phil Coxon (keyboard player with OMD), it was Take That's sixth chart topper in the United Kingdom and only top ten hit in the United States. Barlow claims he wrote the song in fifteen minutes. It was unveiled at the 1995 BRIT Awards, and such was the demand that its release date was brought forward. The song made available to the media an unprecedented six weeks before release.[1]

The song appeared on most releases in a slightly remixed form, which added extra instrumentation including additional drum beats. Some releases featured both radio and album versions. The song was a big hit in Brazil during 1995 and 1996, thanks to soap opera Explode Coração: the song was one of the main songs on the television show's soundtrack.

In an effort to mock his boy band roots, group member turned solo artist Robbie Williams performed a 'hard rock' live version in the style of the Sex Pistols, which was a B-side to his single "Angels" (1998). Williams performed this arrangement of the song with Mark Owen, as the encore at his record-breaking Knebworth Park concerts and eventually performed this version with Take That, upon receiving his Brit Icon Award in 2016.

The song was featured on the final episode of the second series of Spaced, in which Tim, Brian, and Mike, along with Mike's Territorial Army buddies, attempt to play the song for Marsha, a la the boombox scene from Say Anything... It also featured in the final episode of Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant's The Office as a love theme for characters Tim (Martin Freeman) and Dawn (Lucy Davis). Gary Barlow stated on ITV1's An Audience with Take That Live broadcast on 2 December 2006 that there were 89 versions recorded by other artists.

"Back for Good" was covered by Boyz II Men for their Love album, by The Wedding Present for their How the West Was Won album, by McAlmont & Butler in 2002 for the "NME in Association with War Child Presents 1 Love" charity album, and by The Concretes on the Guilt by Association Vol. 1 compilation. Coldplay performed the song with Gary Barlow at Shepherd's Bush Empire, London in aid of War Child in 2009. Barlow also performed the song with JLS at the O2 Apollo Manchester date of his 2012 concert tour.

The song's popularity and quality led to an urban myth that it had secretly been written by Barry Gibb of the Bee Gees. Gibb later commented that he had "never even heard" the song.[2]

"If it touches people, it's a good song," remarked Noel Gallagher. "You know, people go on about Take That – but 'Back for Good' said something to me. And if it touches me…"'[3]

Chart performanceEdit

The song was released on 27 March 1995 and entered the UK Singles Chart at number one, selling nearly 350,000 copies in its first week. This made it one of the fastest selling singles of the year, selling almost as many as the rest of the Top 10 that week added together.[4]

It remained at number one in the United Kingdom for four weeks. The song has received a double Platinum sales status certification in the United Kingdom, and is also still regularly ranked high in United Kingdom based favourite ever songs polls.[5] It is their biggest selling single and the biggest selling boyband single ever in the United Kingdom, with sales of 1.2 million as of September 2017.[6] The song won British Single of the Year at the 1996 Brit Awards.

"Back for Good" would later reach number seven on the United States Billboard Hot 100, spending a total of thirty weeks on the chart,[7] sixty six weeks on the US Adult Contemporary chart[8] and 30 weeks on the Top 40 US Airplay chart.[9]

Take That were the first British boy band to achieve a top ten single in the United States throughout the 1990s, and 5ive were the only other British boy band who managed this feat during this decade, however with a lower peak to Take That. Some 17 years later, first initially by The Wanted and subsequently One Direction, both achieved higher United States single peaks for a British boy band.[10]

Music videoEdit

The music video to the song is relatively simple, but now iconic. It is shot in black and white and shows the band walking and dancing in the rain as well as the band performing the song in a shelter. Most of the external footage was shot at the backlot of Pinewood Studios. It was also the last music video to feature Robbie Williams in the present day until he rejoined the band in 2010. A 1958 Chevrolet Impala and a 1951 Mercury Custom, both customised in the styles of the 1950s/early 1960s feature in the video. Due to spending so long in cold and wet conditions, several of the band became ill afterwards with flu.

The video has often been an influence in the band performing the song live as they often make use of artificial rain when performing it. It also appears on the DVD release, Never Forget: The Ultimate Collection. The music video was also paid homage to by The Wanted in the music video to "Walks Like Rihanna". The video was based on three classic '90s boy band singles and their videos, with "Back for Good" being one of them.

PersonnelEdit

Track listingsEdit

UK 7" vinyl (74321 27146 7)
  1. "Back for Good" (Radio Mix) – 3:59
  2. "Sure" (Live) – 3:16
  3. "Back for Good" (TV Mix) – 4:03
UK Cassette single (74321 27148 2)
  1. "Back for Good" (Radio Mix) – 3:59
  2. "Sure" (Live) – 3:16
  3. "Back for Good" (TV Mix) – 4:03
UK CD single #1 (74321 27146 2)
  1. "Back for Good" (Radio Mix) – 3:59
  2. "Sure" (Live) – 3:16
  3. "Beatles Tribute" (Live at Wembley Arena) – 11:40
UK CD single #2 (74321 27147 2)
  1. "Back for Good" (Radio Mix) – 3:59
  2. "Pray" (Radio Edit) – 3:43
  3. "Why Can't I Wake Up with You" (Radio Edit) – 3:37
  4. "A Million Love Songs" (7" Edit) – 3:53
EU CD single #1 (74321 27963 2)
  1. "Back for Good" (Radio Mix) – 3:59
  2. "Sure" (Live) – 3:16
EU CD single #2 (74321 27964 2)
  1. "Back for Good" (Radio Mix) – 3:59
  2. "Sure" (Live) – 3:16
  3. "Beatles Tribute" (Live at Wembley Arena) – 11:40
Japanese CD single (BVCP-9852)
  1. "Back for Good" (Radio Mix) – 3:59
  2. "Sure" (Live) – 3:16
  3. "Pray" (Radio Edit) – 3:43
  4. "Why Can't I Wake Up with You" (Radio Edit) – 3:37
  5. "A Million Love Songs" (7" Edit) – 3:53
US CD single #1 (07822-12880-5)
  1. "Back for Good" – 4:03
  2. "Love Ain't Here Anymore" – 3:57
  3. "Back for Good" (Live From MTV's Most Wanted) – 4:10
US CD single #2 (07822-12880-2)
  1. "Back for Good" – 4:03
  2. "Love Ain't Here Anymore" – 3:57
  3. "Back for Good" (Radio Mix) – 3:59
  4. "Back for Good" (Urban Mix) – 4:02
  5. "Back for Good" (Live from MTV's Most Wanted) – 4:10
US Cassette single (07822-12880-7)
  1. "Back for Good" – 4:03
  2. "Love Ain't Here Anymore" – 3:57
US 7" vinyl (07822-12880-5)
  1. "Back for Good" – 4:03
  2. "Love Ain't Here Anymore" – 3:57
US 12" vinyl – Jukebox release only (TAKEBFG1)
  1. "Back for Good" – 4:03
  2. "Back for Good" (Radio Mix) – 3:59
  3. "Back for Good" (Radio Instrumental) – 3:59
  4. "Back for Good" (Urban Mix) – 4:02
  5. "Back for Good" (Urban Instrumental) – 4:02

ChartsEdit

CertificationsEdit

Region Certification Certified units/sales
Australia[67] Platinum 70,000
Austria[68] Gold 15,000
Germany[69] Gold 400,000[70]
Italy[71] Platinum 50,000
United Kingdom 2x Platinum 1,207,286[6]
United States[72] N/A 427,000[73]


*sales figures based on certification alone
^shipments figures based on certification alone

ReferencesEdit

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External linksEdit